MFA in WCYA summer residency lecture series and public readings announced

The MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults summer residency starts Saturday, July 8 with a number of public readings scheduled, including the first Darrow Lecture Series event!

The Darrow Lecture series recognizes longtime faculty member Sharon Darrow, who has served in nearly every capacity of the WCYA program—from graduate assistant to program director to faculty chair. VCFA created the series as an annual opportunity for WCYA students to gain inspiration from and engage with successful graduates.

BerryWCYA alumna Julie Berry (’08) will be the first lecturer in the series. Her 2016 novel, the historical thriller The Passion of Dolssa, is a 2017 Printz Honor book, a Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist, and a New York Times Notable Title, among many other awards and distinctions. Her latest book, The Emperor’s Ostrich, was released in June. 

The first Darrow Lecture Series event, which is free and open to the public, will take place during the WCYA’s summer residency on Saturday, July 15 from 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. at VCFA’s College Hall Chapel. For those that cannot attend, the lecture will be live streamed at vcfa.edu/livestream. VCFA will also publish and archive the lecture through its online journal for the arts, Hunger Mountain

VCFA is also hosting two other public readings during the residency. On Tuesday, July 11 at 7:45 p.m., Visiting Writer Katherena Vermette will host a reading in the College Hall Chapel.  

KatherenaKatherena is a Métis writer from Treaty One territory, the heart of the Métis nation, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Her first book, North End Love Songs (The Muses' Company) won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry. Her novel, The Break (House of Anansi), was shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction and the Rogers Trust Fiction Prize. Her National Film Board short documentary, "this rive" won the 2017 Canadian Screen Award for Best Short. In 2015, Portage and Main Press published her seven volume children's picture book series, The Seven Teachings Stories. Katherena will read alongside WCYA faculty members Amanda Jenkins and Varian Johnson. 

AnitaVCFA also welcomes Visiting Writer Anita Silvey, who will give a talk in the College Hall Chapel on Friday, July 14 from 1:15-2:15 p.m. Anita is the author of 100 Best Books for Children, 500 Great Books for Teens, and Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children’s Book. She has devoted 40 years to promoting books that will turn the young—and families—into readers. Formerly publisher of children’s books for Houghton Mifflin Company and editor-in-chief of The Horn Book Magazine, she currently teaches modern book publishing, children’s book publishing, and children’s book author studies at several colleges.